National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is the united voice of more than 45 organizations, associations, and agencies dedicated to reducing skin cancer morbidity and mortality in the United States. The National Council members represent some of the nation’s premier researchers, clinicians and advocates for melanoma and skin cancer prevention. To learn more about the National Council, visit:

Indoor Tanning Facts

  • Indoor tanning exposes users to both UV-A and UV-B rays, which damage the skin and can lead to cancer.  Using a tanning bed is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 75% higher risk of melanoma.  Using tanning beds also increases...

  • Indoor tanning can cause burns to both the skin and eyes and it prematurely ages and wrinkles the skin.

  • Even with warnings, many U.S. youth—especially teen girls—are using indoor tanning.  In one large national study, 40% of the 17-18 year old girls had tanned indoors in the past year.

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—are highly curable. However, melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous. About 65%–90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to...

  • In 2008 (the most recent year numbers are available)—

    • 59,695 people in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin, including 38,484 men and 25,211 women.
    • 8,623 people in the United States died from melanomas of the skin, including 5,672 men and 2,951 women...
  • Using indoor tanning increases one’s chances of developing melanoma—the most fatal type of skin cancer—especially when indoor tanning occurs before the age of 35.

  • According to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, indoor tanners tended to be young, non-Hispanic white women.

    • 32% of non-Hispanic white women aged 18–21 years reported indoor tanning. Those who reported indoor tanning device use reported an average of 28 sessions in the past...
  • According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the following proportions of youth report indoor tanning

    • 13% of all high school students.
    • 21% of high school girls.
    • 32% of girls in the 12th grade.
    • 29% of white high school girls.
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